We can all agree that parasites are absolutely disgusting, especially the ones that live on blood, such as ticks. Worse still (as if their vampirical ways aren't bad enough), there’s a disease known as Lyme disease that they can spread. Lyme disease is a chronic infection that can make your daily life a misery. Worst of all, treatment doesn’t always work, and you don’t have many options. This has made many people with the condition try to find alternative ways to address the disease, such as using CBD. But does using CBD oil for Lyme disease actually work?
In this article, we'll talk about how CBD may help with Lyme disease and its potential benefits, along with everything else you need to know about using the cannabinoid for Lyme disease.
Table of Contents
What is Lyme disease?
Lyme disease (Borreliosis) is a chronic bacterial infection caused by tick bites. The bacteria responsible for it is known as Lyme borreliosis, which attacks the affected person's organs. To reduce the risk of developing a late-stage infection or further complications, it is crucial to identify Lyme disease early and start the proper antibiotic treatment as soon as possible. If Lyme disease is not treated as soon as possible by a doctor, it can result in serious and sometimes fatal consequences.
Although anyone can get Lyme disease, it seems more common among people who frequent grassy or wooded areas or come into contact with animals such as deer. The majority of cases occur in summer and autumn.
Symptoms of Lyme disease
It is very easy to mistake the symptoms of Lyme disease for those of other illnesses, as the infection has the same characteristics as many other diseases. What makes it even more challenging to diagnose is the fact that small ticks spread it in their nymph phase. Sometimes you can't even tell that a tick has bitten you, and symptoms can be confusing for both you and your doctor.
Some symptoms you may experience with Lyme disease include:
- Rash around the site of the bite
- Joint pain
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Muscle aches
- Trouble sleeping
- Difficulty concentrating
See your doctor immediately if you experience any of these symptoms and suspect you may have Lyme disease.
How to treat Lyme disease
As mentioned above, early diagnosis and treatment are essential for Lyme disease. If detected early, it can be treated with a straightforward course of oral antibiotics to eliminate the infection.
Different antibiotics are used depending on the individual:
- Doxycycline: Treats adults and children
- Amoxicillin and cefuroxime: Treats breastfeeding women
- Intravenous antibiotics: Treats some forms of the disease, such as those that affect the heart or central nervous system
Unfortunately, most people don't begin to experience the symptoms of Lyme disease until it's too late for regular antibiotics to work effectively. Instead, doctors will prescribe long-term antibiotics to manage the disease.
However, this prolonged use of antibiotics might be harmful to your health. The antibiotics could eliminate good bacteria, harming your immune system and making you susceptible to other diseases or infections.
Lyme disease symptoms may persist for months or years, even after therapy, due to various factors such as:
- Treatment failure
- Immune reaction
- Organ damage
- Remaining dead bacteria
Because of all the confusion and “what ifs”, people with Lyme disease have been looking for more healthy and natural ways to address their symptoms. Enter CBD.
Can CBD kill Lyme disease?
Studies show that CBD has strong antibiotic properties that may help with the symptoms of a variety of bacterial infections, including Lyme disease. In addition, CBD may also potentially boost the efficacy of antibiotics prescribed for Lyme disease. As a result, combining CBD with some antibiotics may increase their benefits and perhaps even lower antibiotic resistance.
Keep in mind that CBD is not a cure, and we must do more research on CBD oil for Lyme disease. However, current studies' evidence is promising, and further research may show even more proof.
Before using CBD for Lyme disease or in conjunction with medication, speak to your doctor first. They will be able to tell you if it is safe for you to do so.
How CBD can help with Lyme disease
CBD has become extremely popular for its potential to help the symptoms of various conditions. Many people with Lyme disease have decided to try CBD to see if it could help with their condition, and the results have been surprising.
Research, along with numerous anecdotal reports, claims that CBD could have the potential to help with the following Lyme disease symptoms:
- Chronic pain
- Heart palpitations
Let’s take a deeper look at how CBD may potentially help.
Thanks to its pain-relieving properties, CBD oil can help ease chronic pain caused by Lyme disease.
A 2016 study demonstrated that inflammation and pain were decreased by the regulation of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) after ingesting CBD oil. Another one compared CBD and normal medication, and showed evidence that CBD can help ease arthritic pain in animals with no adverse reactions.
Research such as this suggests CBD may help reduce inflammation and symptoms associated with arthritic pain without the negative side effects of regular medication.
Lyme disease can significantly disrupt sleep, leading to constant fatigue. While you can treat this with a regular OTC sleeping pill, more people are using CBD to help them get some shut-eye.
CBD is said to help calm the mind and body, helping you fall asleep quicker and have a better quality of sleep – without waking up groggy like you would from a sleeping tablet. A study published in The Permanente Journal had 72 adult participants with anxiety and sleep disorders take CBD. In the first month of the study, 79.2% of participants with anxiety reported less anxiety, which continued declining as the study continued. Of those with sleeping problems, 66.7% claimed to sleep better after taking CBD. Some participants even claimed lasting results.
According to animal studies, CBD may decrease post-heart attack cardiac arrhythmias and infarct size. This shows that CBD may have cardioprotective properties.
However, as these are mostly animal studies, we can’t be sure whether CBD will have this same effect on humans. More human studies are needed.
Lyme disease can cause encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), a severe condition with symptoms such as:
- Impaired speech
- Joint and muscle pain
When there is inflammation in the body, Cytokines are released, which increases the inflammatory response, making the symptoms even worse. However, studies show that CBD oil may suppress cytokines, thereby reducing inflammation caused by conditions such as Lyme disease.
Is it safe to use CBD oil for Lyme disease?
The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that CBD is safe for daily use and not addictive. However, some people do experience minor side effects such as dry mouth and dizziness, but this is rare and usually, just a sign that your body is adjusting to CBD oil. To avoid this, start with a small dose and then work your way up to what works for you once your body is used to the CBD.
Anecdotal reports and studies show people with Lyme disease might benefit from CBD. However, more human studies are required to substantiate these claims.
Furthermore, remember to speak to your doctor before using CBD. They will be able to guide you on how to use CBD safely.
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